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Digital giants behind ‘Avatar’ offer free softwares to students
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Digital design software giants that made magical animations in the Hollywood classic ‘Avatar’ possible have entered the Indian education sector, offering $100 million worth of engineering design materials free for access and download by students.

Available on the portal of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for free download will be a suite of sustainable design materials -- 32 of them -- developed by Autodesk, world leaders in 3D design, who brought director James Cameron’s dream planet Pandora to life in ‘Avatar’.

Another set of engineering design and developing materials was placed on the AICTE portal (www.aicte-india.org) for free student use by Microsoft yesterday, with both Microsoft and Autodesk signing MoUs with AICTE to enable technical education students to access learning materials that are hard to get and prohibitively priced.

So far, such softwares are being illegally procured. Autodesk’s Chief Education Officer Joe Astroth admitted, “Many students get copies of our software illegally but these materials have lesser market values and are unsafe due to viruses. We now have made available our best products free of cost and the students can have them legally.”

Microsoft will share with the HRD Ministry its “dream spark” software series, which offer software licensing programmes for students and faculty engaged in science, technology, methods and design. Certification for these softwares will be available inherently, said AICTE chairman Dr SS Mantha, adding that the availability will change the way students learn technology.

“Now if you want to show a student how an automobile works, you can actually assembly each of its components and display to your class,” he said.





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